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Stream Cokie the Clown’s (Fat Mike of NOFX) “You’re Welcome”

Cokie the Clown’s  “solo” album, You’re Welcome, has just been released on Fat Wreck Chords. For those who don’t know, Cokie is the alter-ego of Fat Mike from NOFX.

You can check out a stream of all ten songs below. Warning: There’s no skate punk on this release and it’s rather depressing… but it’s interesting as hell if you’ve at all followed the antics of the famous frontman over the last couple decades.



Bad Cop/Bad Cop Release 7″ of First Three Songs

California’s Bad Cop/Bad Cop have released an exclusive 7″ featuring the first three songs the band ever recorded –  “Sweet Brown Water”, “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah”, and “A Little Wild.” The energetic songs show how much potential the band had from the first time they walked into a recording studio – and are high-quality, as opposed to many unearthed releases from bands.  The three songs are bursts of pure punk rock and the perfect way to tide yourself over with new-to-us Bad Cop/Bad Cop music until their next album is eventually released.

The 7″ comes out on April 26th, and the songs are also available on Spotify, Amazon, Apple Music, Deezer, and Tidal.



Album Review: Cokie The Clown – “You’re Welcome”

I made a mistake.

It was school vacation week in my neck of the woods recently, and as such, I had the privilege of spending a lot of really awesome time with my eleven-year-old. I also knew I had a review of the upcoming Cokie The Clown album coming down the ‘pike, and assumed – rightfully – that listening to the album with my kid in the car or in the house with me would be a terrible idea, so I decided to take a solo trip to the grocery store one evening and to give You’re Welcome a preliminary listen in the process. As it turns out, there might be worse places than a grocery store amidst the suburban sprawl of the greater Boston area to fire up an album like You’re Welcome for the first time…but there aren’t many.

While Fat Mike hasn’t been shy about wearing his heart on his sleeve for the duration of his three-plus-decade career, You’re Welcome finds that concept amplified: his heart is not merely on his sleeve, but ripped out of his chest and torn to shreds on the floor for all of us to see. You’re Welcome kicks off with “Bathtub,” which finds our protagonist Cokie accompanied by only whatever substances are coursing through his clown veins as he tells the story of waking up in the middle of the night to find his significant other facedown in a bathtub after an overdose, and the resulting uncertainty and dread that came along with wondering if she’d taken her final breaths. Buckle up, my friends, because the ride only gets bumpier from there.

Over the course of the next half-hour or so, Cokie takes the listener on a ride that is at  times painfully honest, uncomfortably raw, disturbingly complicated, and is undoubtedly going to piss a lot of people off. There are songs like “Fair Leather Friends” and “Fuck You All” that take thinly-veiled shots at people in Mike’s — er, Cokie’s — personal life that he feels have cheated him, screwed him, abandoned him and otherwise taken advantage of him. “Pre-Arrainged Marriage” theoretically tackles the subject of love, but through the prism of his two previous high-profile failed marriages. Listeners who read the NOFX autobiography The Hepatitis Bathtub several years back might recognize the story that “Swing And A Miss” graphically details, involving the failed and successful suicide attempts of a previous roommate and the fallout that ensued. “Punk Rock Saved My Life” and “That Time I Killed My Mom” shed a little more light on the relationship – or, ultimately the lack thereof – with his parents that was documented on past NOFX tracks like “My Orphan Year” and “Happy Father’s Day.” There’s “The Queen Is Dead,” a heart-breaking ode to a deceased longtime friend that comes across as one of the most tender, genuine moments that Fat Mike has committed to tape. While the bulk of the subject matter is painful, it is oddly enough the themes of narcissism and unresolved anger and self-martyrdom that rear their heads in tracks like “Pre-Arrainged Marriage”and “Negative Reel” and to a lesser extent “Down With The Ship” that I found more cringe-worthy and uncomfortable than the themes of suicide and parenticide and overdosing and bondage that were more prevalent.

Sonically, You’re Welcome plays more like a sad carnival soundtrack than a traditional “punk rock” album. If you give it a listen looking forward to it being composed of two-and-a-half minute anthemic skate punk songs, A) you’ll be wildly disappointed and more importantly B) you should have known better. There’s no standard verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-repeat in the bunch, meaning You’re Welcome isn’t an uptempo, sing-along style album the way that the Home Street Home musical and soundtrack that Fat Mike and friends put together a few years ago was in spite of its own disturbing imagery. While the musicianship and production are stellar (containing contributions from Travis Barker and Dizzy Reed and production from the mighty Danny Lohner), the majority of the instrumentation is largely present as a means of providing a loosely-built latticework. Fat Mike’s Cokie the Clown “character” — and I’ll save the remainder of my armchair psychoanalysis for another place and time — is by all means the star of the show, and if that means that sometimes songs are going to meander and switch tones and seem a bit unfocused and chaotic and largely just be narratives rather than traditional “songs,” that’s exactly what’s going to happen.

I’m still struggling with what I ultimately think of You’re Welcome in anything resembling a larger sense, which I understand is not maybe the ideal thing to say in a review of an album. I really like the bulk of it, though I have a hard time listening to it for long stretches. While I have long-since tired of the veneration of the degenerate GG Allin or Darby Crash or Sid Vicious types as the bellwether of what it means to be “Punk,” I applaud the choice to pull in some stylistically and artistically different directions and to tackle uncomfortable, challenging topics by way of performance art. From that perspective, You’re Welcome is a resounding success. It’s not an album you’re going to keep on repeat (well…if it is, you may want to have the assistance of a professional therapist or twelve at the ready). It’s not going to launch a series of copycat albums that turn into their own genre. It will probably leave you deeply disturbed on your trip to the grocery store, as you balance images of a nineteen-year-old Fat Mike showing his recently-deceased friend’s parents the exact spot they cut his lifeless body down and a grown-up Fat Mike covering his soon-to-be-departed mother’s face with a pillow as you try to weigh your bagel flavor options. And that’s exactly the point.



Avail Announce More “Over The James” Anniversary Shows

If you’re like me, you’ve been hopeful that the Avail reunion shows were going to make their way outside the Commonwealth of Virginia, and today we can finally say that those wishes have come true!

The monumentally-influential Richmond, Virginia band are taking the show on the road for a long-weekend of Over The James 21st anniversary shows in the northeast: September 6th at Union Transfer in Philly, September 7th at the Warsaw in Brooklyn, and September 8th at Royale in Boston. Support on all dates comes from Angel Du$t. Tickets go on sale this Saturday (4/20) at 4pm Eastern, and at least 200 tickets will be available for walk-up purchase at the Union Transfer, Gramercy Theater and Sinclair Box Offices respectively. All of the gigs will feature the original OTJ-era lineup of Tim Barry, Joe Banks, Beau Beau, Gwomper, and Erik Larson. Pack those sleeping bags and we’ll see ya in line!

Over The James was initially released on April 7, 1998, on Lookout Records, and was later released by Jade Tree a couple years later. Avail’s final release was their 2002 Fat Wreck Chords full-length Front Porch Stories.



Clowns (Punk, Australia) Stream Latest Album “Nature/Nurture”

Aussie thrashers Clowns have just released their fourth studio album to date. Nature/Nurture is being handled by domestic label Damaged in Australia and New Zealand, as well as the almighty Fat Wreck Chords in the rest of the world.

You can check out Nature/Nurture here and as well you might since it’s clearly going to be a contender for album of the year.

The previous collection of tunes released by Clowns was the 2017 full-length, Lucid Again. 

 



Bracket to release new album “Too Old To Die Young” on Fat Wreck, stream new song “Canned From The Food Drive”

Well now, look who’s back on the Fat Wreck roster. It’s California pop-punk veterans Bracket and it appears they’ll be putting out a new album titled “Too Old To Die Young” on May 31st. Don’t remember Bracket? Do remember but want to know how they sound today? Give “Canned From The Food Drive,” the first single from the upcoming album, a listen below.

Pre-order the album here.



Avail to reunite for “Over The James” 21st anniversary show in Richmond

Well holy hell, boys and girls; hell, it would seem, has frozen over…Avail are back!

In spite of years of insisting it wouldn’t happen, the ground-breaking Richmond, Virginia band are reassembling for a 21st anniversary show in honor of their 1998 album Over The James. The gig will feature the original OTJ-eralineup of Tim Barry, Joe Banks, Beau Beau, Gwomper, and Erik Larson. It marks the first Avail show in more than eleven years and that particular lineup’s first show together in what I’m pretty sure is more like 19 or 20 years. It’s all going down  Friday, July 19th at The National in their hometown of Richmond, and features support from Iron Reagan and Asylum. Tickets are on sale this coming Friday (March 29th) at 10am Eastern at this here link, so plan your sick time accordingly.

Over The James was initially released on April 7, 1998, on Lookout Records, and was later released by Jade Tree a couple years later. Avail’s final release was their 2002 Fat Wreck Chords full-length Front Porch Stories. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for more of these dates in the very, very near future. If I were a betting man…



Direct Hit! Stream Latest Music Video “Altered States”

Milwaukee-based punks Direct Hit! are streaming a music video for a tune that appeared on their 2018 album, Crown of Nothing. 

Nick Woods, the vocalist for Direct Hit!, had the following to say about the track chosen to release as a single:

“Devon brought “Altered States” to the table early on in the process of writing Crown Of Nothing. Lyrically, it’s a nihilist song – it’s the point at which the characters in the album’s story find themselves on the same page, and come to a bunch of bleak conclusions about humanity and the afterlife… Even though it’s one of my favorite tracks on the record, if I listen too closely I have to listen to all the rest of the tunes that follow it to remind myself of the redemption that comes from hopelessness. We shot the video pretty quickly in a single night with our pals Adam and Derek and their crew, who’ve created a lot of our media over the last few years.”

You can check out the video for”Altered States” below.



Strung Out finish new album

California punk legends Strung Out announced on their Instragram profile that they are on the last week of tracking their new album at Maple Sound Studios.

When the record will be released is unknown, but we’ll keep you posted as more details on it come to light.

Strung Out last released the acoustic EP Black Out the Sky about a year ago on Fat Wreck Chords, while their most recent full-length record Transmission.Alpha.Delta came out in 2015.



CJ Ramone announces new solo album, releases first single

Former Ramones bassist CJ Ramone has announced that he will release his new solo album called The Holy Spell… on May 10th via Fat Wreck Chords.

About the album’s title, CJ stated, “I never lost that magical feeling that you get from music, and that’s where the title came in. The bands that I listened to when I was young that I really enjoyed, I can still put that music on now, and it still has the same magic for me.”

The Holy Spell… is now available for pre-order, while the track listing and its lead single “Blue Skies” can be found below.



Cokie The Clown (NOFX’s Fat Mike) announces debut album and releases new song

Cokie The Clown, the alter ego of NOFX’s Fat Mike, will release his debut album “You’re Welcome” through Fat Wreck on April 26th. The album is an exploration of “his deepest regrets, fears, and experiences” consisting of ten tracks with Travis Barker on drums and Danny Lohner (Nine Inch Nails, A Perfect Circle) behind the desk.

The first track to be released from the album is “Punk Rock Saved My Life”, which is streaming now and can be checked out using the player below. Get the full low down on the release over at the Fat Wreck website.



Nightmarathons (Punk, Pittsburgh, PA) stream “Closer” from forthcoming full length album

Nightmarathons have announced that they will release their debut album “Missing Parts” on March 29 via A-F Records. The band have released “Closer” from the album following a premiere at BrooklynVegan.

The album was produced by Chris #2 of Anti-Flag (and White Wives) and comes ahead of shows in Chicago, Seattle, Oakland, San Francisco, San Diego, Las Vegas, Denver, Cleveland, and more. You can check out the track and preorder the release using the player below.



New Video: Teenage Bottlerocket – “Everything To Me” from upcoming album, “Stay Rad”

Even more rad news from the Teenage Bottlerocket headquarters today. This time, it’s a brand new video for the track “Everything To Me.” The video, as you might imagine, is about the radness that is being a dad (dadness?!?) and how cool raising a kid can be. It features a pretty lengthy cameo from Ray Carlisle’s rad-as-hell son Milo, and even a few shots of Miguel Chen’s baby kiddo, Olivia. Check it out here!

“Everything To Me” is the latest track to be released in advance of TBR’s upcoming full-length, Stay Rad!, which is due out March 15th on Fat Wreck Chords. Pre-orders are still here. It marks the follow-up to March 2017’s Stealing The Covers, and their first studio full length of originals since 2015’s Tales From Wyoming.



Miguel Chen (Teenage Bottlerocket) Announces New Book, “The Death Of You: A Book For Anyone Who Might Not Live Forever”


Rad news from the Teenage Bottlerocket camp today. The band’s bass player and resident yogi announced details behind his sophomore book. It’s called The Death Of You: A Book For Anyone Who Might Not Live Forever, and it’s due out this coming September on Wisdom Publications. Here’s the book’s description:

DEATH.

Even the word itself probably makes you a little uncomfortable. Just look at it, sitting there, demanding to be acknowledged. It might even make you a lot uncomfortable.

We spend so much time trying to deny death, going on about our lives as if we and our loved ones are immune to it. Then, one day, its truth becomes undeniable. The Death of You doesn’t flinch in looking into this vital, urgent matter. Join Miguel for a wild ride where we get real about death—and even have a few laughs at its expense.

If you might someday die—or if you know someone who will—this book is for you. If you’re afraid of dying, this book is for you. If you’re excited about the Great Unknown, this book is for you. In plainspoken, kind, and encouraging language, Miguel will show you how to transform your relationship with death—and in doing so, you’ll get to know your life in a whole new way. Today is the perfect day to start. Don’t wait—you’re not gonna live forever.

We’re still big fan’s of Chen’s first book, I Wanna Be Well, and have referred back to it quite often since its release last February via Wisdom Publications. We’re sure this one will be much the same! Pre-order yours at Amazon right here while you’re still alive enough to do so!



Clowns signs to Fat Wreck, stream “Prick” off upcoming album “Nature/Nurture”

Behold! A new Fat Wreck Chords signing! Australian hardcore exports Clowns are the latest to join the elite ranks of the label’s roster. On April 12th they’ll unleash their brand new album “Nature/Nurture” and you can get a taste of what you’re in store for via the album’s first single “Prick” below.

Vocalist, Stevie Williams expounds on their latest effort:

“Nature/Nurture is an amalgamation of our last three records, which we’ve made over the last 6 or so years,” he says. “Our line-up has been a little bit fluid over the years, but this record is the band really coming to fruition with this line-up and with all the different sounds that we’ve experimented with over the years – everywhere from super-adolescent punk rock to nine-minute long psych jams.”